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August 21, 2016

Marin Cilic

Cincinnati, Ohio

M. CILIC/A. Murray

6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. When you left here at 2:00 a.m. or whatever last night, did you think you had much chance today?
MARIN CILIC: Well, yeah. Yeah, I thought I'm going to get probably good chance if I play well. I mean, I didn't feel too tired yesterday in the evening. It was obviously very difficult mentally match. It was very humid on the court. We were sweating a lot, so a lot of up and downs, especially in the third set.

I had to work my way out with obviously positive emotions, negative emotions, and that took obviously a bit of energy.

But I went to sleep around 4:00 and woke up a little bit before 11:00. That was enough to recover. I felt that I played today really good tennis.

Q. Biggest title since US Open. Even during that you beat Andy Murray on the way. Did that come into your mind at all, and how does it feel to get another big title under your belt?
MARIN CILIC: I didn't get if you said that I beat him there or didn't beat him.

Q. On the way to the final.
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, I didn't beat him.

Q. No, I'm saying you did.
MARIN CILIC: No, I didn't.

Q. I thought you played him at the Open.
MARIN CILIC: No, he lost that year. Or I don't know if he played. Or Stan. Doesn't matter.

Anyway, I felt that this week I played really great tennis. That's obviously a big sign for me for moving forward. Obviously this is the best week that I've played since 2014 US Open. Even last year I was having some good tournaments but searching still for my game.

Obviously this week I found some good rhythm on the courts. I played really good first few matches. Also the match with Berdych was high-quality tennis. Just have to continue with trying to play the way I was playing.

Today I felt that the serve was a big factor in the game. I was hitting a lot of big serves in important points, and I was definitely in that second set very, very mentally strong. Andy was starting to play a bit better, and, I mean, definitely huge win against Andy who has been in a great run last couple months.

Q. Sometimes when people have kind of a more businesslike approach on the court fans say that you can't see the personality. How would you describe your personality?
MARIN CILIC: Well, I'm trying to be obviously focused on what I have to do on the court. I see also some guys that are -- that show more emotions, that are more into fan communication. Obviously that's good thing, as we need to have different kind of players.

But also, I would like to see as well the fans appreciating the guys being very, very respectful on the court and being professional. I think that needs to be done more in tennis, especially for the young ones coming up to see obviously the best guys doing that as well.

I just felt that this week obviously the fans were really, really good, especially last night. A lot of them stayed until the end of the match. It was not an easy week because of the rain and everything. Was really exciting to play here.

Q. That was quite the celebration though. Did you plan that in advance?
MARIN CILIC: Not really. Not really. Just that last shot felt like bomb down the line so that was the afterward celebration after the shot.

Q. You became the youngest active player who won a Masters. Does it mean something to you, and how do you explain about that?
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, it's nice to feel young at 27, almost 28, so it's great definitely. Obviously the game in last ten years is -- the age of the guys is getting further and further.

We have many guys born in the year '81, '82 and they were pushing the barrier forward with the age. So it's definitely great for me to still be one the youngest ones around at the top.

It's a great sign that I have many more years in front of me.

Q. We've actually seen more breakthroughs at the Grand Slams than at the Masters. What's made that so tough, these Masters events, do you think, for everyone else to get a title? There are nine of them a year.
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, I don't know. I was really having a lot of trouble on the Masters Series comparing to Grand Slams. I was never in the semis. This was the first week for me to get to semis then final then to win it.

It's definitely big relief. Just obviously the Masters Series is a bit different approach. You don't have as many matches to get into the rhythm, so probably the best guys are the ones that are always in a driving seat.

This is for sure a huge, huge step for me forward. Hoping to continue like this on Masters Series.

Q. How does it compare to your US Open win?
MARIN CILIC: Well, obviously it's close with that, but you can't compare it. Really Grand Slams are sticking out. It's a two-week tournament.

In a one-week tournament you can always have a bit easier draw or like Coric retired so you can have some openings. Wawrinka lost early. In Grand Slam you have to play best-of-five sets against top guys, so much bigger task.

Q. Talk about your team. Maybe Bjorkman is not here. Do you have physio or trainer or hitting partner?
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, my physio is here, and also the coach that was working with me also when I was working with Goran. He's here, and obviously help me a lot this week. That was great.

Jonas, I was in contact with him during the week. We talked about the game, what I need to do on the court, what to focus on. Obviously we just started, and to have already a big win like this is really nice.

Just looking forward to the next week and next two weeks after at the US Open.

Q. Talk about your split with Goran. Are you surprised or happy after that sort of break up that a big title could come pretty quickly? Could be a tough thing for a lot of players to handle.
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, well, I didn't obviously think about that too much. I was very focused, especially at the Olympics. And coming here, it was not easy. I came here on Saturday and already played Monday, so not too much time to adjust.

Obviously breaking up with a coach is never easy. It can be turbulent. For me it was pretty much okay. Also glad to see that Goran is working as well with Tomas.

Tomas is a definitely a kind of player that is little bit similar to me, so they might have success as well.

Q. It's early days with Jonas, but was he able to give you any insight of what to expect when playing Andy? What do you want to have him add to your game?
MARIN CILIC: Well, definitely Jonas worked with Andy last year and obviously gave me few tips to look at. Also, I'm very familiar and Andy's game. We played already more than I guess ten times, so I knew what I need to expect.

Anyway, in these kind of matches you also have to be focused on yourself. You can always add a couple things here and there, but it's also up to your game to deliver, like on a final like today.

I was really happy with the way I started, the way I was serving. That helped me to be more relaxed on the court.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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